21 Mar 2014


Colin Miles

Although the weather was not up to our usual Tuesday morning standard, after the initial wetness it stayed dry, though rather windy and dull.  This meant that we didn’t see any of Butterflies or Honey Bees, though there were quite a few Bumblebees around, mainly Buff tail Queens with the occasional White, not to mention our dear Boar and the Bee Garden cat.[nggallery id = 541]

But whilst we were waiting for the drizzle to abate we examined the Moth trap which had been set up the previous night – nothing.  It appears that there is a fault in either the battery, which was dead, or some loose connection in the bulb.

This week we had scheduled a bird count, but unfortunately our real expert, Julian Friese, was not with us, so the fact that the species count is down is probably due to his absence.  However, Terry Wells tells me that a walk around Usk reservoir the previous weekend yielded just 2 Cormorants and a Mallard, so maybe the theory that they were starting to nest is right, at least as far as the waterfowl are concerned.

The bird count walk takes us through the Millenium square, past the Apothecary garden and up to the top of the Spring Woods. Time to admire all the Primroses, Derwydd Daffodils, Periwinkles, Dog Mercury, opposite-leaved Golden Saxifrage, Dog Violets and linger over the rather dried out Jellyear fungus on the Elder bush. There was also the rather strange looking Summer Snowflake. This member of the Lily family resembles a slightly skruffy on a long stem. [nggallery id = 539]

All the while Anne was busily recording the various birds, mainly heard rather than seen, and the Bumblebees. Then around the Bee garden a rather unusual discovery in the shape of Bank Vole Holes, maybe as many as 30, a true Volhalla. Plus a male Earwig which had got itself trapped between the glass and a notice in the Bee garden itself, and a female Palmate Newt which had been trodden on and passed to us by a member of the public.[nggallery id = 540].

Then down by the lake the business of recording the waterfowl numbers, or lack of. But not before we came across a somewhat unusual sight in the shape of a solitary Redwing gorging itself on Ivy berries, presumably fattening itself up ready for the flight back to northern climes.[nggallery id = 538]

On the lakes themselves the Moorhen was the most numerous species and we didn’t see any Teal or Coots. But we were entertained by Eric the Cormorant who spent quite a bit of time swimming and diving and kindly posed for us before we moved on.

Finally down by the bridge leading to Waun Las we were pleased to see a pair of Grey Wagtails, but no sign of the Dippers.  Then off to the Restaurant for the usual lunchtime chips and chatter.

10 Blackbird , 4  Blue Tit, 1  Buzzard, 4  Carrion Crow, 6  Chaffinch, 1  Chiffchaff, 5  Dunnock, 5  Great Tit, 2  Green Woodpeckers, 2  Grey Wagtails, 2  House Sparrow, 2  Magpie, 1  Mallard F, 2  Nuthatch, 1  Raven, 1  Red Kite, 1  Redwing, 8  Robin, 1  Song Thrush, 2  Starling, 2  Wood Pigeon, 7  Wren.

Pwll yr Ardd: 2 Mallard, 2 Moorhen
Llyn Uchaf: 4 Mallard, 5 Moorhen
Llyn Canol: 3 Mallard, 13 Moorhen, 1 Cormorant

Thanks to John for his photos, Howard for the Cormorant one and Anne for all the notes. If any volunteer or member is interested in joining us please  send an email to Colin Miles  – you DON’T have to be an expert in anything, just interested.   If you click on any of the images in these blogs, or anywhere else you will see a larger picture. And if you click on the Wildlife Walks heading on the left-hand side under News you will see a list of the last 10 Wildlife Survey blogs.

If you find an injured bird, hedgehog or other wild animal and want help and advice then phone the Gower Bird hospital. on 01792 371630.